Sam Ludden

Project 'WAI'- A water inspired, sculpture exhibition

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Project WAI

My project is about using sculpture to inspire our community to re-connect with the waterways and wetlands in our landscape, using the medium of clay and ceramics. As an artist, I am inspired by the love of rivers, wetlands and the creatures that live in them. I am inspired by the people passionate about the politics of water and its use. I find the braided facets of our water issues fascinating and I feel perfectly positioned, as an artist, to advocate for the river herself.

I am asking you for help to fund the time it takes to create the core content of an exhibition called 'WAI'.

Why do I need your help?

My ceramic work has aways been inspired by water, especially eels. Over the years I have perfected the craft of making my eel sculptures among other similar ceramic NZ creatures. I am so lucky these sculptures have proven popular enough to provide a living for my young family and I.

However this success has proven to be a double edge sword. All my time is consumed by the craft of production and putting food on the table, there is no time for innovation or development of new ideas. I can contribute more than just beautiful things for people's homes, my vision for project WAI is to create art that means something to entire community.

Please help.

Your donation to 'Project Wai' will buy me time to bring this exhibition to life. My target, of $8000.00, will provide me with income of 500 per week for 16 weeks for the creation of the sculptures themselves.

Your help, large or small, will make you part of the 'Project Wai' family and of course I will keep you up to date with photos of the pottery and the evolution of the project through social media. Please spread the word and like, share, link, tell your friends, family and help me make this happen.

What will Wai look like at the end?

I deliberately wish to keep the details of the exhibition under my hat, to allow the work to evolve without boundaries. However I can tell you the exhibition space will be an installation with running-water, raw clay, river driftwood, ceramic eels, film and telegraph poles. I am excited to collaborate with an artist who is an expert in the field of sound to enhance the experience of passing through the exhibition space.

The opening of 'Wai' will be held at my local public gallery, 'Aratoi, Wairarapa Museum of Art and History' here in Masterton. However I do not wish it to end there. The ultimate goal is to get the exhibition seen by as many people as possible. Water use is an issue being tackled by the entire country (and indeed, by the entire planet) so Project Wai will be designed to travel and reach other regional galleries around the country. The sculptures will be adaptable for various spaces, indoors and out. So there is every chance you will be able to see 'Project WAI' in person.

Thank you for your support.


  • Exhibition WAI


    WAI is an exhibition about using art to reconnect our community with waterways and wetlands in our landscape. It is inspired by the love of rivers and the creatures that live in them, by the people and the politics of and around our waterways. The braided facets of water issues facing us in fascinating and now is the time to advocate for the river herself.

Other Projects by Sam Ludden